USAPL Raw Nationals – RMLC Lifters Medal and Break Records

Posted: September 25, 2011 in State Organization

Rocky Mountain Lifting Club had 3 lifters competing in the USAPL 2011 Raw Nationals in Scranton, PA. Scranton is a picturesque old town that is home to a number of colleges including the University of Scranton. It has some beautiful old buildings and some good restaurants that were within a few blocks of the venue. With 336 lifters the Raw Nationals was a monster meet and had to run 3 platforms on some of the days. That required a lot of referees and support and kept the sole announcer incredibly busy. Clearly raw lifting has taken off.

On 20 August Tom O’Keefe and his grandson Aidan O’Keefe lifted. Aidan and Tom both turned in excellent performances hitting 8 out of 9 lifts and achieving personal bests in all 3 lifts. Aidan won silver in the Teen 2 220 lb class (SQ-242, BP-143, DL-320, Total-705). Tom took gold in the Master 4B 198lb class (SQ-220, BP-182, DL-314, Total-716). Grandpa is still on top in the total! Aidan has made excellent progress and it has been great watching him grow in both size and strength while training at RMLC with his grandfather. Tom also set American and National Meet records in the squat, deadlift and total.

On 21 August Blaine Sumner competed in the Open SHWT class. Blaine also hit 8 of his 9 lifts equaling Ettore Ewen with a 2,039 total (SQ-854, BP-452, DL-733) but taking silver on bodyweight. It was a thrilling contest in Superheavys with Blaine’s record shattering 854 lb squat giving him a 143 lb lead. Ewen reduced that lead by 77 lbs in the bench leaving Blaine 66 lbs ahead going into the deadlift. Blaine opened conservatively in the deadlift to protect his record squat allowing Ewen to move into the lead then pulled 705 to move into the lead on his second attempt. Ewen then pulled 771 to move back into a tie. After watching that pull Blaine called for 733 on his final deadlift expecting that Ewen would not be able to pull 799 to match Blaine’s total. Blaine succeeded with his 733 moving back into first place then watched as Ewen struggled but got 2 white lights to tie on the total and win gold based on  lower bodyweight.

Although disappointed in not winning gold,  Blaine had only had 3 weeks of preparation for this competition as he had been training for football up until that time expecting to be in an NFL camp. His Wilks total was the 3rd best of the competition behind only Ewen and Mike Tuchscherer (formerly of Colorado) who won outstanding lifter honors. Blaines’s 854 lb squat broke his own USAPL open raw squat record by 50 lbs and according the Powerlifting Watch is the heaviest drug-tested raw (no knee wraps) squat ever recorded in the world. Powerlifting Watch’s All-Time American rankings (tested and untested federations) have him No. 2 in the raw squat  and No. 6 in the raw total.

Here is a link to the video of Blaine’s  854 lb squat (you may need Dramamine after watching):


Congratulations to Aidan, Tom, and Blaine for their performances at Raw Nationals.


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